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May 7 , 2021
Supply Chain Digest Flagship Newsletter


This Week in SCDigest

bullet A Look at the 2021 MHI Annual Report bullet SCDigest On-Target e-Magazine
bullet Supply Chain Graphic & by the Numbers for the Week bullet New Stock Index

Supply Chain Cartoon Caption Contest Winners!

bullet Trivia      bullet Feedback
bullet New Expert Column bullet On Demand Videocasts



first thought


Supply Chain Graphic
of the Week
A Snapshot of the Strong Current US Economy

This Week's Supply Chain

by the Numbers

US PMI for April Falls but Still Very Strong
Rolling Up Amazon Resellers
Maersk Line Sees Big Q1 Profits
US Birth Rate Continues to Fall, with Major Ramifications



March 17, 2021 Contest

See Who Took Home the Prize!

It's Back! SCDigest's Weekly

Supply Chain Stock Index



Weekly On-Target Newsletter:
May 5, 2021 Edition

Cartoon, Top SCDigest Stories of the Week

The Cold, Hard Facts - What to Consider When Replacing HCFC and HFC Refrigerants

Opteon™ refrigerants from Chemours

Read the Press Release

Dan Gilmore

Revisiting SCDigest's Framework on RFID Process Change


In what year was MHI founded, and what city is it headquated in?

Answer Found at the
Bottom of the Page


A Look at the 2021 MHI Annual Report

Not that many years ago MHI - formerly the Material Handling Association of America, a trade organization for materials handling related vendor of all kinds, from fork truck makers to robots to warehouse software and much more - used to produce an annual report that focused on the state of the equipment market.

Meaning the emphasis was on the size and growth of the market for all those types of equipment individually and overall, using in part a model for the very cyclical nature of the material handling system market.



It seems to me categories such as cloud computing, drones, wearable technology and others have relatively impact on resilience.

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After George Prest  oved up to CEO of MHI in 2011, he led a clear move to position MHI as a source of thought leadership and to connect materials handling to the broader supply chain. A few years later, MHI, in partnership with the consultants at Deloitte, changed the annual report dramatically, consistent with the broader thought leadership bent. That continues under still relatively new MHI CEO John Paxton.

Whatever the style, the reports have been issued at the time of each year's major MHI trade show, ProMat in odd number years (held virtually just a few weeks ago for 2021), and the MODEX show in the even years. I just downloaded my copy this week.

Here is a summary of that report, this year titled "Innovation Driven Resilience" I hoped to find just what that meant.

You get some idea right away, with the report noting that "To better position themselves for an uncertain future, leading companies are aggressively applying lessons from the past year to improve their supply chain resiliency."

It adds that this year's survey found that 49% of supply chain leaders have accelerated spending in digital technologies to make their operations more responsive and forward-looking. Just where companies are making those investments is illustrated in the chart below, presented in the introduction to the report.


Source MHI

See Full Size Image


As can be seen, "inventory and network optimization tools" (not, I will note, the same thing at all), got the highest percent of investment, with about 55% of respondents saying those areas are seeing increased spend. That was ahead of number 2 cloud computing and number 3 robotics and automation, both with just over 50% of respondents saying investments were increasing.

I have no doubt the survey data is largely accurate. My question is this: are these investments really geared towards increasing resilience, or were the real drivers what they have always been - cost reduction, improved customer service, etc.? It seems to me categories such as cloud computing, drones, wearable technology and others have relatively little impact on resilience.

Network design tools and artificial intelligence can certainly impact resilience, but again was that really the catalyst?

And here is a possibly a controversial view: I think the whole supply chain resilience movement is overdone. More on that in these pages sometime soon.

That said, still in the introduction section, there was this chart on the top supply chain applications for so-called predictive analytics:



Source MHI

See Full Size Image


Nothing too unexpected there.


That takes me through the report introduction, so I will end it here for this week. I'll be back next week with part 2 and the rest of the MHI report.

What are your thoughts on the MHI 2021 report?
Let us know your thoughs at the Feedback section below.


On Demand Videocast:

Understanding Distributed Order Management

Highlights from the New "Little Book of Distributed Order Management"

In this outstanding Videocast, we'll discuss DOM, based on the new Little Book of Distributed Order Management, written by our two Videocast presenters.

Featuring Dan Gilmore, Editor along with Satish Kumar, VP Client Services, Softeon

Now Available On Demand

On Demand Videocast:

The Grain Drain: Large-Scale Grain Port Terminal Optimization

The Constraints and Challenges of Planning and Implementing Port Operations

This videocast will provide a walkthrough of two ways to formulate a MIP, present an example port, and discuss port operations.

Featuring Dan Gilmore, Editor along with Dr. Evan Shellshear, Head of Analytics, Biarri.

Now Available On Demand

On Demand Videocast:

A Blueprint for WMS Implementation Success

If You Want a Successful WMS Project, You will Find the Blueprint in this Excellent Broadcast

This videocast lays out the keys to ensuring your WMS implementation goes smoothly, involves minimal pain, and accelerates time to value.

Featuring Dan Gilmore, Editor along with Todd Kovi of Radix Consulting and Dinesh Dongre of Softeon.

Now Available On Demand


Feedback will return next week.


Q: In what year was MHI founded, and what city is it headquated in?


A: 1945, and located in Charlotte, NC

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